CHANDLER, Ariz. – If Antron Brown were any hotter he’d melt the North Pole or Antarctica or Iceland.
Actually, he just might be able to melt them all.
The 35-year-old New Jersey native living near Indianapolis won his 16th NHRA Top Fuel title Sunday when he defeated Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher to win the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway.
Brown and his Matco Tools team also left the track near Phoenix with the points lead in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series after two of 23 national events. He advanced to the final of the series opener a week before at Pomona, Calif., when he lost to Spencer Massey, another DSR teammate
“When you win, it never gets old,” Brown said.
Brown won for the fifth time in the past 12 Full Throttle events when he defeated teammate Schumacher with a run of 3.793 seconds at 319.82 mph to just edge the seven-time world champion’s 3.813 (318.17).
Driving the Matco Tools dragster, he won the 32nd NHRA title of his career including 16 in Top Fuel – including at Firebird in 2009 – and 16 in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
It is the 14th time since 2005 that DSR Top Fuel teammates met in a final round of eliminations and a total of 26 times when DSR drivers ran for the Wally trophy in Top Fuel and Funny Car.
It was the eighth runner-up for Schumacher since the second race of 2011.
It’s the fourth time since the start of last season that they have met in the final round; Brown now has won four straight.
“Tony’s running good and (Massey’s) Prestone/FRAM team is running on mean,” he said. “We have three strong cars at DSR and we bow out against each other. That’s what pushes us.”
Brown’s win marked the 176th NHRA national event title for DSR. All three DSR dragsters are in the top three in points standings in the Top Fuel category.
Brown, who qualified No. 5, said crew chiefs Mark Oswald and Brian Corradi were confident heading to the last round despite knowing Schumacher’s U.S. Army had the choice of lanes because it ran had quicker in the semifinals than the Matco team.
ARIZONA NATIONALS RESULTS FOR DSR TEAMS
Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
Qualified: No. 5
Round 1: BROWN def. (3.796 sec., 320.36 mph) def. Terry McMillen (3.857, 313.73)
Round 2: BROWN def. (3.888, 287.47) def. (3.987, 262.74)
Semifinals: BROWN (3.832, 313.51) def. Shawn Langdon (6.072, 106.18)
Final: BROWN (3.793 sec., 319.82 mph) def. Tony Schumacher (3.813, 318.17)
Event winner: Antron Brown
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster
Qualified: No. 2
Round 1: SCHUMACHER (3.770 sec., 323.12 mph) def. Mark Strasburg (4.217, 208.91)
Round 2: SCHUMACHER (3.819, 315.12) def. Doug Kalitta (3.856, 307.65)
Semifinals: SCHUMACHER (3.819, 315.12) def. Clay Millican (8.924, 83.46)
Final: Antron Brown (3.793 sec., 319.82 mph) def. SCHUMACHER (3.813, 318.17
Spencer Massey, Prestone/FRAM dragster
Qualified: No. 4
Round 1: MASSEY (3.769 sec., 325.37 mph) def. Cory McClenathan (3.964, 255.73)
Round 2: Antron Brown (3.888, 287.47) def. MASSEY (3.987, 262.74)
Jack Beckman, Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 6
Round 1: BECKMAN (4.090 sec., 308.57 mph) def. Tony Pedregon (4.179, 304.83)
Round 2: BECKMAN (4.172, 282.24) def. Jeff Arend (4.322, 294.43)
Semifinals: Mike Neff (4.099 306.74) def. BECKMAN (4.129 301.60)
Event winner: Robert Hight
Johnny Gray, Big O Tires/Service Central Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 1
Round 1: GRAY (4.0484 sec., 310.34 mph) def. Grant Downing (4.422, 217.28)
Round 2: Robert Hight (4.613, 241.97) def. GRAY (no time, disqualified for hitting wall)
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 10
Round 1: CAPPS (4.162 sec., 301.13 mph) def. Cruz Pedregon (4.210, 274.33)
Round 2: Mike Neff (4.264, 246.75) def. CAPPS (7.000, 90.68)
Matt Hagan, Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 4
Round 1: Todd Lesenko (4.264 sec., 266.79 mph) def. HAGAN (4.325, 293.92)
NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING STANDINGS
(Through Phoenix; 2nd of 23 national events)
1. ANTRON BROWN, 212
2. TONY SCHUMACHER, 180
3. SPENCER MASSEY, 176
4. Morgan Lucas, 143
5. Shawn Langdon, 139
6. Clay Millican, 126
7. Steve Torrence, 89
7. Bob Vandergriff, 89
9. Brandon Bernstein, 85
9. Doug Kalitta, 85
1. Mike Neff, 196
2. Robert Hight, 154
3. John Force, 150
4. JACK BECKMAN, 137
5. RON CAPPS, 125
6. Courtney Force, 124
7. Todd Lesenko, 102
8. JOHNNY GRAY, 99
9. Jeff Arend, 84
10. Gary Densham, 83
11. MATT HAGAN, 74
The DSR racing convoy of 19 rigs hits the highway Monday for its 1,689-mile jaunt back to headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind. The next NHRA event is the Tire Kingdom Gatornationals presented by NAPAfilters.com on March 8-11 in Gainesville, Fla.
Reports on DSR drivers from the NHRA Arizona Nationals can be found later Sunday night at ShoeRacing.com.
More information can be found at NHRA.com.
About Matco Tools
Matco Tools manufactures, distributes and services premium quality automotive equipment, tools, and tool storage for the professional technician. The company has more than 60 years of national brand experience in the automotive equipment industry and a vast product line of more than 13,000 of the highest quality, innovative tools and accessories. The company’s franchise offering has no franchise, royalty, or advertising fees. Initial corporate and ongoing local training create and build outstanding value for the franchisee’s business. For more information on Matco Tools products or franchise opportunities, visit www.matcotools.com.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., consists of seven professional NHRA teams: in Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the FRAM/Prestone dragster of Spencer Massey and the Matco Tools dragster of Antron Brown; and in Funny Car, 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan in the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, Valvoline NextGen Dodge piloted by Jack Beckman, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Service Central Dodge of Johnny Gray. DSR has won 174 NHRA national event titles and nine world championships.